Tips for increasing CTR in contextual advertising

CTR in contextual advertising Contextual advertising

Marketing is an integral attribute that directly links the business itself and the sale of its products.

Modern conditions have led to the transition of advertising to a fundamentally new level – digital. Internet (Digital) marketing allows you to effectively develop your business by attracting new customers from the online space.

Internet marketing specialists are working on creating catchy banners, “delicious” for potential buyers of advertisements, attractive texts, using increasingly sophisticated methods of modern online business promotion.

Various analytical tools have been created to evaluate the effectiveness of this work.

CTR is one of the ways to estimate the number of user visits to the site after clicking on a particular ad. Competent CTR optimization solves 2 strategic tasks for Internet marketing at once: increasing the click-through rate of advertising (increasing interest in the ad among the target audience) and improving its quality.

What is CTR in contextual advertising?

The concept of CTR comes from the English abbreviation Click-Through Rate, which refers to a metric (i.e. measurement and evaluation) of the quality of online advertising.

To put it simply, CTR in contextual advertising is the click-through rate of an ad, or rather, the percentage ratio of user views of ads and clicks on a link to a site to the number of ad impressions in Google Ads.

Increasing this indicator is achieved in many ways: creating a unique, bright ad text with catchy headings, additional links, extensions, etc. The brighter and more attractive the advertisement, the more users will be interested in it.

Why is a high Click-Through Rate so important?

A high click-through rate for an ad is a guarantee that it will bring more targeted traffic to your site, and, consequently, the number of sales will increase.

So, a high CTR is:

  1. Improve campaign quality scores;
  2. Increase the position of the advertisement in the search results;
  3. Click cost reduction;
  4. Ultimately – sales growth.

It is significant to know that the higher the CTR and the more relevant the advertising campaign, the cheaper it costs the advertiser each visit to the site.

How to calculate CTR?

Marketers calculate CTR:

  • for a certain period;
  • for a set number of ad impressions.

The CTR (Click-Through Rate) formula looks like this:

CTR formula

Let’s say your ad was shown 100 times and 6 people clicked on it. This means that the CTR of this advertising campaign is 6%.

What affects CTR?

CTR in advertising is inextricably linked to the following factors:

  1. The quality of the text content of the ad. In order to interest the audience, the text in the advertisement must be easy to read, structured, meaningful and specific. The last point is especially important. The user must clearly understand what kind of product or service they are offered. Ads with clear wording and product descriptions get more engagement than vague, abstract ones;
  2. Descriptiveness of the ad. An advertisement must provide comprehensive answers to the basic needs of the consumer. The user, after reading, seeing the advertisement, must be fully aware of what is being offered to him, what this product is and what kind of task it solves for him. It is important that the ad contains the basic data: price, terms and conditions of delivery of goods, stock availability, etc.;
  3. Position in the advertising issue. The higher this indicator, the more clicks the ad will collect;
  4. Relevance to the target request of a potential buyer. Suppose a user is looking for a stroller, and the search engine gives him ads for construction tools. What is the probability that a person will click on your ad? Virtually zero. In order to avoid such incidents, it is necessary to carefully study the semantics of the ad and negative keywords. This will allow you to be sure that your advertising campaign will be displayed exclusively for targeted queries;
  5. Setting up targeting and target audience parameters. The more carefully the target audience is chosen, the more targeted ad impressions you will receive. And this means that more users will be redirected to the site and become potential buyers.

High-quality text, ad design and correct targeting settings are the key to the success of an advertising campaign, and, consequently, increasing its click-through rate.

Which CTR is considered good and which is critical?

Estimation of the click-through rate can be different and depends on the following components:

  • advertising campaign type;
  • advertising option;
  • niches of advertised products or services;
  • industry competition;
  • ad time;
  • time of day, specific day of the week, and even season.

Normal CTR for Google AdWords

CTR for text search ads and display ads can vary significantly. For Google AdWords contextual text advertising, the average is in the range of 5% – 10%.

Ads that have less than 2% are considered low-performing (although these statistics are relevant for topics with medium competition and for top ad positions).

If the click-through rate exceeds 10%, then such a CTR is considered good, and such an ad is of high quality and effective.

If the rate is at 0.5%, Google may automatically stop the display of the ad, considering it as poor quality.

Good performance for Google Display Network

What should be the normal click-through rate for Google Display Network? Acceptable click-through rate for the display network is in the range of 0.5-0.6%. In certain cases, a CTR of 0.1% is also considered good.

This is due to the fact that contextual advertising in the search responds to a specific user request, i.e. shown only when a person wants to find something specific, he is interested in this product and is motivated to go to the site.

Ad networks work differently. Here, advertising content is displayed even when a person simply uses the browser: looking for a movie, series, music or book. He may be interested in a bright picture or an intriguing headline, and only then he will visit the advertiser’s page, because the indicators here are significantly lower.

Normal CTR for YouTube videos

  • Paid advertising on YouTube. The average click-through rate for ads is approximately 0.5%. The indicator depends on how well the advertiser has chosen the target audience, got into its interests.
  • Organic listing (recommendation feed). Here, the videos are usually more relevant to the interests of users and the CTR is higher. The YouTube algorithm is more likely to include videos in the feed that collect more likes and views from users with similar interests. The average click-through rate for recommendations is 4 to 5%.

What is a good CTR for Google SERPs?

In Google search results, CTR fluctuates greatly depending on the position of the site, the height and content of the snippet. For example, if, thanks to micro-markup, an SEO specialist brought quick links to other sections of the site into the displayed snippet, added emoji, a picture – in some cases this allows you to increase CTR by 50%.

As you can see in the graph below, the top 3 search positions receive more than 50% of the total clicks. And positions 6 to 10 receive only 25% of clicks. Interestingly, according to some studies, position 11 in the SERP receives more clicks than 10 (because it ranks TOP 1 on the second page).

Google search CTR distribution

This is interesting! The largest CTR is received by the site for branded queries. In the first position, the click-through rate in this case can be 70% or more.

What are the reasons for low CTR for ads?

There are 3 most common reasons why CTR can be low:

  1. Incorrect target audience selected. If the user does not have a car, he is unlikely to need a set of winter tires at a discount. And fans of healthy eating in general should not show pizza ads (although there are exceptions).
  2. Uninteresting proposal. If the ad contains a price that is very different from the offer of competitors in a big way, this can negatively affect the click-through rate of the ad. Study the competitors in your niche and create a USP based on your advantages, and then the CTR will grow, and with it the conversion.
  3. Unattractive ad. For advertising in the search, you need to describe the benefits of the company as accurately and concisely as possible in the description of the ad, and the title should begin with a query that the user enters. For display ads, it is important to have juicy pictures and intriguing headlines to make the ad stand out on the content page.

How to increase CTR in contextual advertising?

How to increase CTR in contextual advertising

In order to significantly increase the CTR, you need to:

    1. Use the right keywords. As a rule, high-frequency keywords are overly generalized. In order to bring them closer to your product, you need to use mid-frequency or low-frequency keys. Specify the user’s possible request as much as possible in order to accurately hit his intent. For example, you are selling power tools. The most common key phrase in your case would be “buy a power tool”. However, you should not focus on such requests in an advertising campaign – after all, your site may not have a specific product that a potential buyer is looking for. It would be more correct to use mid-frequency queries like:
      • buy Makita perforator in Kyiv;
      • battery for Bosch screwdriver;
      • order a cutting wheel for a grinder, etc.

Such ads will clearly correspond to user requests and the response to them will increase significantly;

  1. Correct the list of negative keywords. If these words are present in the user’s request, ads will not be shown. This approach will reduce the number of inappropriate ad impressions. In order to select negative words, you will need to work with semantics. One of the tools for finding frequency keys is Google’s Keyword Planner. By entering the name of your product or service, you will receive a list of the most frequent keys. All you have to do is to carefully study them and exclude those that do not fit the description of your products. They will be the stop words for the advertising campaign;
  2. Add extensions to ads, additions. This will make your ad more informative and useful. These include:
    • quick links;
    • contacts for feedback;
    • clarifying information;
    • company address;
    • rating;
    • and many more.
  1. Customize your ad. A good ad should contain clear, well-written text with user-friendly language and a call to action;
  2. Use analytics. This will give you the opportunity to launch an ad based on the activity of your target audience, i.e. specifically for the time period when your potential buyers are most active in the network. Thus, you can not only attract the right audience, but also expediently spend the advertising campaign budget.

Increasing the CTR is a guarantee that you will increase traffic to the site, and most likely, sales will increase after it.

It should be noted that it is incorrect to evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign only by CTR. In this case, it is important to evaluate all indicators: the relevance of the landing page, the quality of the site, and most importantly, the final conversions.

Сергей Шевченко
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